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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Eden's Endgame - first reviews

Eden's Endgame has been out for just under a week and has already attracted some good reviews. I've extracted some elements which, as author, I find hit the nail on the head with what I was trying to achieve with this final book in the series:

Awesome finale! Love how the threads of this multi-layered epic were woven back into a singularly satisfying tapestry. And finally, some of the good guys died!

I did want there to be a crescendo to the series, and it does end up in one last big galactic battle, But there also had to be some suspense and some surprises, e.g. what can the Spiders and the Hohash really do? What is Kalaran's real game plan, or for that matter, Qorall's?. The plot development to realize this had me tearing my hair out about a year ago. Getting that intersecting, inter-woven tapestry effect was not easy, and I'd say this was the hardest of all the books, as I needed to wrap up everything. And yes, heroes fall, and that was not easy as an author to do, to kill off a few who had been around since the beginning. But it was necessary, you can't have a galactic war where we're hopelessly outnumbered and out-gunned without there being losses and sacrifices. Still, it was tough, and I still pause over passages where certain people die.

Beyond the compelling end to the galactic war that humanity has found itself sucked into, there are layers of thoughtfulness here that make this much more than just a space soap. For example, I love Hellera's observation that "directive evolution was painstaking, requiring careful steps over hundreds of millennia, whereas species regression, by comparison, was as easy as falling off a cliff."

This one meant a lot to me because in this book I continue with some of the philosophizing that began in Eden's Revenge, often from the viewpoint of Pierre, about the nature of intelligence and species who might be far smarter than we are. In Eden's Endgame, the dark-side of what the character Jen refers to as 'galactic apartheid' comes into full view. Hopefully there are issues raised in this book that go beyond the action and the drama, concerning what might be out there, and what we might one day become.

With sweeping action sequences and a story full of intrigue, betrayal, and triumph, Barry Kirwan weaves the end of his four-book story of humanity's fall to the stars in Eden's Endgame. I don't mean to sound like a TV-movie ad here, but with the epic scope and stunning visuals in this book, reading Eden's Endgame felt as effortless and entertaining as watching a move—one I didn't want to leave until the last of the credits rolled. It was bittersweet to see the heroes who made it through from Eden Paradox for this one, final time, and I truly wish there was more to read.

Also very glad to see this one as I always try to create intrigue, without over-complicating, and visual is what I go for. I see all these scenes in my head, and want the reader to - whether close-ups of personal moments, hand-to-hand combat, alien ships and worlds, or wide-angle panoramas of space battles, of which there are plenty.

Sad to see this series end but Endgame certainly does it well. Relentless action as the battle for humankind and the galaxy as a whole is fought on numerous fronts. Fast-paced page-turner. Will miss the characters but a great conclusion.

The book is meant to be a page-turner, but I was mindful of a comment from a friend that the last half of Eden's Revenge felt 'breathless', that there was not enough time to take stock and digest what was going on. So in Eden's Endgame I had some 'spaces' to allow an inbreath, though I kept these short. Nevertheless, since the onslaught of war is relentless, there is a drive in the book, particularly the last six chapters or so, which should make it hard to put down..,

There's another more formal review coming out soon on Pikers Press, and I'm going to share a little of it below, giving the last word to the reviewer Lydia Manx:

The deeper I dove into Endgame the more I admired the complexities the author has added to his already familiar characters. Back stories came forward along with the hero components I'd already come to expect from such a talented writer. The visual words pulled up a world or three that I could see and that added to the fast moving plot and the well anchored 'reality'. I didn't feel like I was anywhere but in the now for the future. Every time a chapter ended I felt myself racing to continue, and then I was caught up in the newest thread 

Eden's Endgame is available in paperback and kindle version on Amazon all over the galaxy.

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